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The Queen's recent unexpected outing revealed – see the picture

It was a festive day out for Her Majesty

Fiona Ward

The Queen was spotted leaving a special under-wraps engagement at London's Goring Hotel on Tuesday – thought to be her annual Christmas lunch at the venue. Her Majesty is known to have treated her staff to their festive end-of-year party at the venue in previous years, and enjoys a long-held relationship with the hotel and its own staff. As she left and made her way to her car, she could be seen holding a gift bag, thought to be a present from the team at the hotel.

The Queen attended a festive engagement at The Goring Hotel

The Goring Hotel has held a royal warrant since 2013 - the only hotel to have been awarded Her Majesty's seal of approval for hospitality services. As the closest hotel to Buckingham Palace, it has long been a favourite of the royal family. Most notably, during the Queen's coronation in 1953, The Goring was the accommodation of choice for royalty from all over the world who attended the momentous occasion.

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More recently, the hotel was chosen as the London base for the Middleton family during the royal wedding celebrations of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Kate's parents Carole and Michael famously reserved all 71 rooms for their close friends and family members, and reportedly held a party there for those who weren't invited to the more exclusive evening reception.

She will soon head to Sandringham to spend Christmas with her family

For her festive outing, the Queen wore a pale blue quilted skirt suit, which featured pretty tweed piping. She accessorised with a sparkling brooch, pearl earrings and her trusty Launer handbag, of course. Tuesday's engagement will no doubt be one of Her Majesty's last before her annual Christmas celebrations with her family.

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Every year, the royal family spend 25 December together in Sandringham – and it was recently revealed that they celebrate slightly differently to most in the UK. Marlene Koenig, royal historian and founder of Royal Musings, told HELLO!: "The British royals still follow the German tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve. The members of the family who are present at Sandringham exchange gifts, usually not expensive. The gifts are put out on a trestle table after tea time."

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